summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

we all have to go, there's no babysitter...

That is what I just told Sonja about our proposed outing to Target and the grocery store.

Some of the kids are still sleeping, so we shall see how they feel about it when they wake up.

Did I stay home yesterday? ha. It was a very beautiful day, sunny and brilliant but not too hot. I called my sister-in-law and asked her if she wanted to go to the beach. She packed up four of her kids, I brought six of mine, and off we went. They dug holes and filled them with water and swam and played while we relaxed and fed them pretzels and tried not to get too sandy. We ate near the playground in the shade, relaxed while they went on the slides and swings and collected acorns. The girls "adopted" a cute little boy and played with him and watched him on the playground. I wonder what his mother thought.

I felt better after that little outing.

Home for dinner. I made spaghetti, with hot sausage on the side. I ate my sauce over French-cut green beans instead of pasta, and had some sausage. We had stopped for ice cream in the village on the way home, so we weren't very hungry, but ice cream wasn't enough for dinner. Paul didn't eat with us because he had a board meeting at church, and Mirielle was on a run. Joseph had had a late lunch, so he didn't eat. We still managed to sit around and solve the world's problems for a while. I do love summer.

Today Joe is at college, the three nursing students are at school, Sam is at his friend's house, so it is just 8 of the kids, their cousin, and me. And I am thinking of taking them shopping. There is no one old enough to babysit, so we either all go or we all stay home. When I find out if they are game to go, we will get ready.

My weight has stayed pretty much the same this entire month. Well, I lost a bit at the beginning, gained a little back, and am now the same as I was at the beginning. I WAS going to work out yesterday, but didn't. My brain still feels mushy and I am unmotivated, but the desire to get into better shape is still dormant in there somewhere. It hasn't gone away, it is just taking a nap, along with my brain. I have been being careful what I eat, yet allowing myself some treats, like the ice cream yesterday. But I haven't just thrown caution to the wind and eaten what the heck ever I want. Thankfully. But I can see how that could happen in a stressful situation, and I feel such compassion for people who battle these things! It is not easy to keep your focus when you feel just so blah.

After my body heals a bit more, I will get back into the exercising and lifting and treadmilling. (I love verbing things that shouldn't be verbed, it drives Margaret crazy. And Mirielle.) And I know it will feel good. Maybe I will try to fit in just a small treadmill session later. A few months ago I wouldn't have believed this, but it actually sounds refreshing!

46 years old. I can't relate to that number. It isn't me. When I was in the hospital the other night, one of the nurses so kindly told me multiple times that I do not look "that old". The sad thing about being 46 is that the chance of getting pregnant when one is that old is quite low. So I am not counting on conceiving again, in fact right now it sounds overwhelming.....but hey, ya never know! (that's the slogan for the New York State lottery).

I shall finish my coffee, read the morning paper, and see what the kids want to do today. Wait, shouldn't someone clean this place up?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

a normal day today, please?

Yesterday was a scrambled day, I felt "discombobulated", as my mother used to say. I was going to stay home, I really was. But I needed to send some money to someone, and Emily was coming over to take Margaret, Kathryn, and Evelyn shopping. I got in on it so I didn't have to drive by myself. After going to Kohl's, again, and finding sneakers for Marg, and some comfy sandals for Jon, and a few other small things, we went quickly through the grocery store...

Emily so nicely grilled the burgers when we got home, and made some baked beans. Evelyn made the salad, and set the table.

I ate very well yesterday, except for the chocolate chips and peanuts I had after dinner. I never at lunch though, not on purpose, just didn't. So calorie-wise, I was fine.

I felt so weird though. Not to go on and on about this, but I just plain felt/feel empty. And feeling like that makes me feel guilty as soon as I acknowledge it, because I have been so blessed. But nonetheless, it is there. There is this exhaustion, this feeling like my limbs are almost numb, like I am here but not here. I wish we had more weeks of summer, because I feel pressure from myself to snap out of this fog and do something fun with these guys. I am aiming for the state fair on Friday, hoping that will give me enough time to get myself together enough.

After I had the D&C, life would get better and I would get over this. But it didn't quite happen like that. I keep thinking back to how it was when I saw the last sono, saw the baby, and at first was so excited, then realized the heart was still. I want a re-do. That heart WAS beating before, I don't want it to have stopped, but it did, it is gone, it is over. Now I just have to deal with it, and it is hard.

On Friday after deciding to go with the D&C instead of waiting it out, I kept thinking, "just wake me up when it's over", like it would really be over. ha. I do realize that alot of this is from the phenomonal hormone drop, but still.

Life goes on. Tomorrow night is Kindergarten Orientation for Charlotte Claire. Wah. How can I send these kids to school this year? wah.

Joseph starts his second semester of college tomorrow. Mali has no classes on Thursday or Friday this week, and wants me to take her to get her driving permit on Thursday. I am thinking of bribing her: if I do that, she has to help me at the Fair on Friday.

Samuel is sixteen now, and wants his permit too.

They will literally drive me crazy.

Oh well. I am not devastated, nor am I hopeless, nor am I going to go off the deep end. I am not going to lose hope, give up my faith, nor get bitter and angry. It just FEELS like it sometimes.

Jonathan keeps asking if this means we can get a kitten. Hmm. Maybe that's what I need.

Monday, August 29, 2011

life goes on

On Saturday morning, I took some pictures of things that make me happy. The little girls, the flowers on the sides of the road, the Bad Dog...I was determined to have a happy day.

And I did. I went with Abigail to get her bloodwork done. But first I dropped off my prescription...then, the lab was closed early because of the hurricaine. Since she had fasted, we stopped at a bakery in the small city, shared a peanut butter chocolate donut. It was a long donut, filled with white cream and topped with peanut butter, then chocolate frosting, then crushed peanuts...oh heavenlyness. Then a rasberry was SO good. I only had about a fifth of each one, super good...then we went to...

1. Kohls. We had a ten dollar Kohl's cash coupon, plus a fifteen percent discount card. I got some 75 dollar running shoes for Mirielle for 15 bucks, plus Nike sneakers for Marg, sandals for Mirielle, really nice sneakers for Jon (regularly $45), sandals for Suzanne, Sonja, and Charlotte Claire, jean shorts for Samuel (his only request for school), two shirts for Joseph, two for Samuel, nice long shorts for Suzanne and Sonja, and a skirt for Charlotte Claire. All for one hundred dollars.

2. Big Lots. I spent too much money on frivolous things like bandaids and half price potato chips and body wash and some cranberry juice...then at the register, found out I got a 20% off coupon, did I want to use it today? Certainly.

3. Back to the drugstore in the small town on the way home to pick up my 'script. Nope, they didn't have it.

4. Home.

5. Later, tried again for the medicine. Walmart didn't have it.

6. Walgreens was closed. Rite-Aid was closed.

7. Stopped at TimHortens. Why did they charge me only $4.99 for a large coffee, a medium ice lemonade for Jon, a large rasberry tea for Abigail, and ten Timbits? I didn't ask.

8. Walmart for ice cream...and hot fudge, and whipped cream.

9. Home, where Paul had grilled chicken and veggies outside....

After all that, I stayed up too late, finally cried at two in the morning when everyone else was fast asleep...then...blah, Mali had an asthma attack while with some friends, they took her to the hospital in the big city. I got the call at four am, the heart-stopping, "Do you have a daughter named Mali, Mam?" phone call. I will spare the details, but I had to go up to the E.R. after one hour of sleep...

So much for resting up. But God IS good, and we can bear much more than we think we can. And there is so much to learn in each situation. God wants us to gain wisdom and mercy in our journey here. I have found when I am at the very end of my rope, when I have no more stamina, no more natural patience left, then God can strengthen and teach me.

I talked to my son Benjamin this morning. His month in the California desert is winding down, he has his phone back. He wanted to console me about losing the baby, and he reminded me that God has a reason for everything. I assured him that I do know this, and that I am not going to go off the deep end about this, but I really am sad. Every time I think of that beating heart, and remember the baby is gone, it hurts. But I cannot possibly ever in a million years articulate how totally encouraging and exciting it is to be able to talk to my son about how good God is. Ben has had his own trials this past month, surviving on 3 and four hour nights'sleep, sleeping on the ground in the desert, being with guys who were tired and sick of everything...yet he himself prayed and endured, and found he could be happy because he really felt God was there with him. I can't explain how good it is that though Ben is sad with me, he is also being grounded in the knowledge that come what may, we are being looked after.

We found out some excellent news this morning: my sister Cheryl has seven daughters. Two are married, one daughter is expecting her second child, the other is expecting her second AND THIRD! TWINS! My sister is getting twin grandchildren! A boy and a girl!!! All three grandchildren are due around the same time, in late January or so. Now, admittedly, this made my heart hurt, and I am a tiny bit jealous...but I am so very happy for my niece! Hey, she could give me one! ha.

So, today I am tired out. I need to really lie low today, the kids are all reminding me that this is their last week of summer, but I simply cannot do anything today. Evelyn made me a second cup of coffee with real whipped cream, super yummy. I am just glad there are no donuts in the house! I don't think I could say NO right now.

Friday, August 26, 2011

no heartbeat....

The sonogram was clear and accurate, I saw the whole baby there...but the heart was still. I didn't realize how much hope I had been holding on to until that moment.

Since I had already been bleeding for almost ten days, we decided not to prolong the agony, and I checked into the day surgery and had a D&C. Blah. Sadness.

But you know what? I declined a wheelchair ride to the exit doors, and since it was a Friday night, and the night nurse wasn't a rules-y guy, Paul and I walked out of there hand in hand. And I was happy. Happy to be walking out of the hospital, happy to begin healing.

Of course this is all easy to say because I HAVE NOT CRIED YET. I haven't had a chance, if that makes any sense. We booked the surgery, drove home to drop Evelyn off (poor Ev who thought her and I were going to sneak in a shopping trip), and pick up Paul....up to the hospital...and here I am home. Now, some of those nice nurses asked me how I was doing, and I said OK, because I couldn't just cry then...then the kids all asked me when I walked in, and I said, OK...but I think I need to go cry now.

(but first I have to say thanks for all the nice comments and well wishes and prayers, and Martha: I just may be okay by next week, and ready to go that Fair!)

what will today bring?

Life being never dull, we just don't know. After all, there has been a tornado, an earthquake, and now we are bracing for the rains and wind of Hurricane Irene.

But since we don't live in the Carolinas or on Long Island, I am not too worried about that. In fact, the only thing I can think of right now is getting this dr. appointment out of the way and moving on with life. Yes, I have a tiny bit of hope that this is one of those unexplained bleeds, that there is a baby in there all snug and warm...but I know it just ain't gonna happen. At least I will be able to move on mentally.

Because I do want to get on with life. We were supposed to go bowling this week, and up to Lake Ontario to get ice cream and throw stones in to the water. We need to go to the library again with the little ones, and I still have a bit of back to school shopping to do, Samuel needs clothes. And I want to go to the fair. (Actually, I am hoping to be well and energetic by next week and perhaps go on the same day as Martha...and just happen to meet up somewhere sometime...)

This weekend my three older boys (Joe, Aaron, and Sam) will be going up to Ontario on a youth boys' camping trip with the boys from church. What fun they are going to have. Margaret, Kathryn, and Evelyn are going to a sleepover for youth girls at a friend's house, then a bunch of the girls are going to the fair tomorrow.

And here I am. How do I pass the hours until my appointment? Why in the heck am I so anxious about this? Truthfully, I do not feel like leaving the house. But I shall keep busy with these little guys, then shower up and go...

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Camille's hair looked so sweet in braids...
Charlotte Claire and I did a few puzzles last night
The girls had a pear soup and cheesies picnic in the living room. hmm.
Never a dull moment, I tell ya. I was sitting in the shade in the back yard, petting Rosie and watching the kids in the pool, and eating a tomato I had just picked from the garden...the water is cold, so the last two girls came out of the pool, and I decided to go check on Paul...he is putting a new screen door on the deck door. I had visions of power tool accidents. I remembered a particular incident that happened not too long ago, not too far from here, in which the husband sawed off his hand, and his wife was a quick thinker, and saved his hand and him...I do not know why this story was in my mind, Paul has been fixing things here all week, and I haven't been nervous...well, to make an already long story a bit longer, I wandered around to the front of the house, got distracted playing fetch with a plastic bat with Rosie...when Jon came running out of the house saying how Daddy just hurt himself with the drill, BAD. Okay, I prayed a little, and hurried in...there was blood, and he said he hit himself with the drill in a bad place, on the I did what any good wife would do, I ran in to go to the bathroom, grabbed the hairbrush and some extra pads, while telling Jon to go get Sam for emergency the time I got back out to the kitchen, Paul was fine. He just missed a vein, it bled alot, but it stopped quickly, and a bandaid did the trick. blah. I really thought he was hurt bad, and now am very thankful. He is at the hardware store, which he has haunted this week, getting a new drill bit.

Never a dull moment.

I am taking another break from wandering around doing not too much. I hate this limbo, this leaking and flooding and emptiness. My blessings are many, and I am trying to keep them in mind because I feel really sad.

So I will finish my low fat low calorie Boston-cream pie yogurt mixed with some chocolate chips, and maybe take a little nap. ha, poor me, right?

summertime goes on...without me. or so it seems

If I was 1 percent hopeful for this baby last week, I am now one half percent. I have taken a few one dollar pregnancy tests this week, still positive with nice dark lines, but I know that doesn't mean much. I am bleeding alot, but I do remember when I was expecting Camille and thought I was miscarrying, and thinking I needed to go in for a D&C because I was bleeding too much. Little did I know, she was growing and thriving in there through all that.

So tomorrow I am 99 1/2% the sonographer will say, "I'm sorry, there is no more baby." Or more likely, "The pregnancy is gone." She didn't refer to the little hearbeating baby as a baby, but as, "the pregnancy". blah.

That little half percent of hope is a crazy thing. It flares up sometime, making me so very hopeful.

As for physically, I am ready to be done with this bleeding and move on. I haven't exercised except for walking a mile every morning, so I feel lethargic. The scale hasn't gone up, thankfully, but it stays the same. Going out and about is not fun, in fact it is nerve wracking. I told Paul yesterday that I am sorry if I have been miserable...then I asked him if he thought I was, and he said, "No.". That was nice. Nothing like, "Am I being miserable, growl, rr, well, AM I!!?" I told him that most likely my hormones are doing a nosedive right now, so besides the fact that I am going through something that is horrible, losing a sweet little baby, I have do deal with the total downer of those falling hormones. One thing I have noticed though, is even when I can't help being sad, I can help what thoughts I agree with. I can still be totally and completely good and faithful in my thought life, no matter how depressed and down I feel. For example, I want to blame the midwife I saw last week. I have thought after thought about how she was with me, the things she said, how she was so dismissive. So should I just start getting bitter? No thanks! And, I have thoughts about Paul...he shouldn't have said this one thing....but really? He has been so kind and thoughtful and good...I am so very glad that God is good, that His ways are perfect, and no matter what trials we go through, we don't have to give in to sin.

I feel a bit guilty, I have been sitting here for so long. The kids are mostly up now, and they are cleaning up, and here I sit. Part of me says, Too Bad, I Deserve It, but....I still feel lazy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

a few pictures

When I look at this picture, I don't feel sorry for myself. These two little princesses make life sweet.
Charlotte Claire in her cute new jammies
strange kids live here, and they use my camera
Miss Evelyn celebrates her nice and don't notice the counter behind her...
someone has too much time on their hands
in the downstairs hallway with no power, waiting for the worst to pass through
The storm...the National Weather service officially named it a tornado, just west of here.

Jonathan is playing with one of his battery operated automatic Nerf guns, which drives poor Rosie insane. Camille's sliver came out all by itself, now she wants the surprise I tried to bribe her with when I wanted to try to get it out. She and Char are fighting over a particular Barbie this morning, never mind that they have like 50 of them.

It is cool and breezy this morning, only in the low seventies. Really quite nice, but nothing like last August, when we had our heatwave of upper nineties. Hardly seems like a whole year has gone by since I re-did our room while Paul was in India.

The New York State Fair starts tomorrow, I have a few tickets and am thinking of taking some kids. We don't do the rides, too expensive. The food is pretty costly too, but we get some 25 cent chocolate milk, and perhaps a $1 baked potato at the agricultural building. I haven't taken them in a few years, and I am not sure I am up to it this year. But it sounds fun. It always sounds fun, then we get there and it is hot and crowded and our legs get tired...

I actually got through the whole day yesterday with no regrets about anything I ate. I really think this miscarriage/questionable pregnancy has made it hard for me to stay on task, it is obvious that I not only enjoy food, but I am an emotional eater...poor me, what can I have? These last few months I have practiced not giving in to that, but this last week has been challenging. But I do not want to have to deal with re-losing weight, on top of all the other emotions here. So I shall fight that battle, and eat good things only.

It is getting crazy in here, so I better sign off.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2000th post....

And it ain't that exciting. Unless one counts going to Target as exciting. I did buy two new shirts for $3.24 each, a dress for six-something, and a sweater to match for $6. All for me. Then shoes for Kap and Evelyn, sneakers for Ev, and a few more clothes for Kap...and school supplies. And a new kindergarten nap-mat for Charlotte Claire. Jonathan's has a large tear so I was going to cover it with a nice quilted cover, but the teacher requested wipe-able vinyl, so I decided to spend the $8.99 and get her a new one, ouch.

I took the girls to Dunkin'Donuts, where I got my usual, coffee with lots of cream, they got frozen hot chocolate and a coffee milkshake, and some Munchkins (donut holes), I did not have even one. It hurt, but it did not kill me. Before you go thinking how much willpower I have, consider this: I had not one, but TWO servings of Evelyn Joy's birthday chocolate peanutbutter ice cream pie with hot fudge topping. Granted, the second helping, which was later in the evening when I served some to Tired Emily-The-Nurse, was much smaller, still. Today I decided to be careful.

Anyway, today I did not eat Munchkins.

Today I am not doing so well. I am bleeding alot. I cannot imagine a tiny little heart still beating through all of this. I sort of want to call dr. and see if I can come in sooner, but then I sort of don't want to...because I am pretty sure of what I am going to see and hear. Oh, just wake me up when it's over. My soul is grieved too.

Paul took some of the kids over to see his mom, it is her birthday. I bought her a dozen roses today, so they brought them with a card. I decided not to go, because I am visiting the bathroom too often. Evelyn asked me today why I had to go so often in the about uncomfortable, walking around wondering if I was going to gush...blah.

Evelyn really needed a library book, so we stopped at a big nice library. She had to pay five dollars of her birthday money towards our $8.10 fine, racked up by some of Sam's World War II books I didn't know were still out. I just plain didn't have any cash...

I do have three books to read now. So...if I am missing in action for a few days, I am in my cave reading. ha, I wish!

Right now the house is quiet. Mirielle came home from college and went on a nice long run, Aaron is around here somewhere, as is Samuel. Joseph is at work, a temporary job setting up computers. So it is quiet and relaxing.

It will be interesting to find out if the little ones tell Gramma about the little baby they insist is still in my tummy. I didn't want to tell her until I heard some really positive news. Why get her upset and worried for nothing? But those little girls have big mouths.

When they talk about the baby, I just say, "we are not sure, guys, we will have to wait and see..."

But they are sure.

My sister is coming back from her camping trip in the Adirondacks tomorrow, finally.

The storm that passed through here on Sunday was officially a tornado, quite a strong one. Then there were tremors today from the earthquake centered in Virginia. Mali was in class, and the projector screen started shaking...

I didn't notice it. I mean, I live in a tornado/earthquake 24/7. I only notice things like calmness.

At the grocery store, there was a pizza/chicken wings special for $19.99. 40 wings and two large one-topping pizzas. I got one bacon, and one green/red peppers. Since I am not eating things like pizza today, I am sitting here just knowing it is out there on the table. The peppers one is especially calling me. I had some wings, I had a low-fat sugar free yogurt, I had grapes. But pizza, oh yum.

Habits are hard to break. When I sit here with my computer, I like to have something to snack on, a little treat. I don't let myself anymore, but I find myself looking for something. Thankfully we don't have any caramel creams or m&ms in the house.

Peace time is over....the kids are home.

Monday, August 22, 2011

after the storm

We had some excitement here yesterday afternoon when an extreme thunder/wind storm came through, with tornado warnings. I was at my brother's house with some of the kids, a few miles north of here, and Paul was home with the other kids. The storm took the roof off a house, removed some barn roofs, moved a shed with a huge tractor in it off the foundation and landed thirty feet away. It moved through right between our home and my brother's house. It was quick, but quite scary.

There is a tree down down the road, and lots of branches, but thankfully nothing else here damaged.

Our power went out though...for hours and hours and hours. At seven it was still out, we were hungry, and when our power is out we have no water. So, since it was Evelyn's birthday, we decided to go to Pizza Hut. Twelve of the kids went (Abigail,Mirielle, Aaron, Mali, Margaret, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and Camille), and Paul and I. Some people WERE counting. Then they came by as they were leaving and asked if these kids were all ours. A few of the older ones were dying, they get so embarrassed. The guy said he had been around lots of kids, and he had never seen such well behaved kids. Well, of course they were being good! They were out for pizza! Anyway I also behaved myself, and didn't tell the people that we had FOUR more that were not with us. I got ten points for that. The kids were rather impressed.

So while we enjoyed the Buffalo Chicken Wing pizza, and the bacon pizzas, and the pepperoni pizza, Mali texted friends in town...and they had power back on! Too bad we don't live in town. Ours didn't come back on until almost two in the morning. We had a nice evening of candlelight and flashlights, and flushing the toilets with buckets of water from the swimming pool.

Evelyn will have her grilled burgers today, and she is making her own ice cream pies. Don't feel sorry for her, she loves making them.

Tomorrow we shall go shopping for the school supplies we still need. We filled backpacks today, and made a list of what they still need. Evelyn needs sneakers, Sam needs clothes...and we need groceries.

I am tempted to call the dr. to see if I can get in sooner. But if I wait 'til Friday, I know I will get to see my favorite midwife, who delivered lots of these guys. And, after all the bleeding I have done, I am not so very hopeful anymore. Crampy? Not so much. But, sorry if this is too much info, but...there have been little clots and such...if this has been a miscarriage, it has been different from any I have had, mine were always terrible cramps and blood that gushes and rushes. Oh, life is interesting. And I am sick and tired of bleeding, nevermind the outcome. Of course I want the outcome to be baby with nice strong heartbeat... I am. Camille is snuggled up to me. There are guys here fixing our leaky roof. Paul is "on vacation", ha. He has been mowing and weeding and weed-eating. I swept the kitchen and living room and mopped, while the little girls washed the floors with their cloths on their hands and knees playing, "Cinderella". I did some laundry, cleaned up the kitchen, and then my chair pulled me back into it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

sunday, a day of rest...

Reasons why today has been one heck of a day so far:

1. Slept in 'til 10:20. Can't remember when I have had that much sleep.

2. Walked Rosie in the rain. It was lovely.

3. Paul made me an omelet with green peppers and tomatoes from the garden.

4. I had some of Mirielle's homemade banana bread with my coffee. One of the girls said something rude to me about the way I ate it, ouch. It was The Straw. The one that broke the camel's back. So I had myself a good cry. (there's something horrendously sad and pathetic in bleeding day after day and being pretty sure that that is the little baby wtih the little heartbeat...ouch to my soul.)

5. So I had my little episode of sobbing and crying and being terribly sad, and pictured myself just walking and walking and getting away from everything...

6. So, I went on the treadmill for a 20 minute fast-paced walk.

7. Took a shower, and here I am. Evelyn the Birthday Girl just brought me a cup of hot coffee with cream. (she made it for herself, but we are out of sugar, so she gave it to me..but still.)

8. Paul is at Lowe's buying a new weedeater. He tried off and on all summer to fix the old one.

9. We texted him to buy some ice cream for the Birthday Girl's ice cream pies.

10. There is another graduation party today at my brother's house.

11. I went to the one yesterday at my other brother's house, and it was nice to see two of my brothers and my sister-in-laws and nieces and nephews and a few adorable little grandchildren of my brothers. Good food and good friends, I did forget my troubles for a few minutes at a time.

12. The boys are making bacon because we have so many tomatoes.

13. Sometimes it seems like a cruel trick to even ponder what a miscarriage is. When I say I am okay, I am lying. It is not fun, it is not nice, it is not fair, I am.

14. I would like to take a leave of absence from my job right about now.

15. Yet it is healing to give to others, to be good when I myself am feeling empty. And nothing in the world is as nice as a huggy hug from Miss Camille. She is perched with me right now.

16. Time to get some little girls ready for another graduation party...

17. If I could only fast-forward to Friday to find out what's going on with this old o.b would have been so much better about all this. The new group I go to just seems too busy to care. This coming Friday is the absolute soonest I can be seen...if I do go to the E.R., it will cost big money because our insurance is not good.

Oh well...time to get moving...


Saturday, August 20, 2011

pretty pretty princesses

happiness is...
playing dollhouse

Kathryn and Camille before the beach
Charlotte Claire with her mermaid Barbie

So here I am, day after day, thinking more and more that this pregnancy is doomed. Then I get an encouraging comment, which makes me a bit hopeful again...and believe me, I have spent more than enough time googling things like "bleeding after seeing a heartbeat"...and there are many stories of babies thriving while mama bleeds. So.

In the mean time, here I am. It is sunny and gorgeous and is going to be 88 degrees out today. The princesses have had breakfast, and now are having cocoa, thanks to Suzanne. I have walked Rosie, and eaten my oats. How can I get through this day without going in that glorious swimming pool with these guys? blah. And my nephew has graduated, and my brother and sis-in-law are throwing him a party today...can I even go? I don't feel so great, morning sickness or dread of miscarriage sickness, I can't distinguish. And then there is the dread of the Possible Big Gush.

Last night I made a huge batch of stove-top popcorn with real butter on it. The older kids were at the youth meeting, so it was only Paul and I and the five youngest. They put in an old dvd of, "Jon and Kate"...which is sad to watch now, especially because they keep saying they, "are in this together". I personally think Kate was pretty rough on Jon, I can't imagine treating Paul like that. Their kids are pretty adorable though.

Paul is looking for the permit to the dump. We can only fit so much in the two big cans that get picked up weekly by the Garbage Man Who Hates Rosie, so when we clean rooms or get rid of old fans, we put the stuff under the deck, and take it to the dump. Well...where in the world can a dump permit have gone? (he is looking everywhere for it, and there is nothing more irritating than a husband who can't find something when the wife is having a good old time on the computer, and doesn't necessarily want to stop typing and help look...but the rumpling through the drawers is driving me crazy!)

Tomorrow is Evelyn Joy's twelth birthday! She is my eleventh child, (Evelyn-Eleven), and was named after a close friend who has now passed away, some 80 years older than our Evelyn. Evelyn is the middle girl in the Five Girls In a Row, the seventh girl in the family. She has extremely curly strawberry blonde hair, blue eyes, and is spunky through and through. She has been a teenager for a long time now. I don't know what we are doing for her birthday yet. She requested burgers on the grill, so we made some and froze them, and bought the buns. She also wanted ice cream pie, so I shall have to send someone to the store.

When Evelyn was born, oh that was a crazy summer. Emily was 14 years old, Abigail 12, Benjamin 10, Mirielle 9, Joseph 8, Aaron 6 1/2, Mali 5, Sam 4, Margaret 3, and Kathryn 17 months. The month before Evelyn's birth, Benjamin fell off the front of the party boat on the boys' camping trip. He fell off the front, (boys pushing and fooling around, he got pushed in), went under the boat, and hit the motor. The driver of the boat didn't believe the kids when they started screaming that the motor hit Ben, so a few of the boys just dove in and saved him. He was bleeding horribly, the blades had ripped him up...they were on the other side of a remote lake in the Adirondacks. Paul and a few other guys got him wrapped in a sheet, and motored him across the lake in a smaller boat, found a camp with a phone, called the ambulance, and started the seven mile trip down the lake to meet the ambulance at the main dock. Paul will not speak of that night, I do believe he was in shock. It was before cell phones, which do not work well in the Adirondacks anyway, but he called me from the hospital and told me that Ben was in surgery and he did not know if he was going to live. Blah. Torture, that night was absolute torture for me. I could not just drive to Saranac Lake Hospital, I had all the other kids here...(we had just finished packing everything for a family camping trip that was supposed to start the next day)(I was really going camping up in the mountains at 8 months pregnant with all those kids)(we had to cancel)Anyway, Benjamin did survive, he had 106 stitches, battled infection from the lake water...I drove up there to visit him twice while he was in the hospital, no easy feat: five hour drive one way. (I begged and pleaded with God so much that night, I and He heard my prayers. I actually felt His presence like a warm blanket, and I fell asleep, woken by the call from Paul that Ben was out of surgery...and that the blade had hit his hip, saving his life...if it had hit his tummy, or his spine, he would have been done for...)

By the time Evelyn was born, things had settled down. Ben had taken out a lot of his stitches on his own, (under the supervision of one of our good friends who is a pediatric surgeon), and that is when he decided he wanted to be a dr., or in the medical field.

Anyway...see what happens when I just ignore Paul and sit here and type? He gave up, couldn't find the permit. I will have to call the town and get another copy. blah.

He asked me if he was going to drive me crazy this week. I said no, I decided that though I was tempted to think that, I wouldn't let him drive me crazy. I just sat here and typed. He is so funny. He just left with Jon to fix Emily and Abigail's washing machine. I am thinking this week isn't going to be very vacation-y, with him wanting to fix everything (he is working on the roof this week, and perhaps a large plumbing project), and me being so housebound...blah. But hey, life is short. As Emily said the other night, everything is "finite". These days with the kids will go by, and never come back, and I shall enjoy them as much as I can. Just because I am suffering here doesn't mean they have to. Wow, I do feel sorry for myself!

Friday, August 19, 2011

snuggles and comfort

Miss Camille is a true joy to her Mama. She cuddles and hugs and tells me she loves me. But yesterday she patted my tummy and said, "There is a teeny tiny baby in here, and when it comes out, I am gonna hold it like this, very carefully.." She cradled her arms and smiled down at the imaginary baby...then she turned and smiled at me, and said, "I get to hold your new baby, Mama!" blah. Who in the heck told her this?

I haven't said much to the younger ones, only that the baby was very small and I don't know what is going to happen.

I know I am foolish, but I still have a teeny tiny spark of hope that this bleeding is just bleeding, and that little one is still alive and fighting in there.

We shall see.

Emily took these kids to the beach yesterday. She stopped at a store and bought lunch, including those awful oatmeal cream cookie things they love. Then she took them for ice cream on the way home. They came home sticky and happy and full of stories.

We had taco salad for dinner, with tomatoes from the garden, yum. Emily and Abigail were both here for dinner, so it was pleasant. Aaron made some decaf again, and we some of the kids had brownies or ice cream sandwiches. Nine or ten of us sat around the table solving the worlds' problems. These nights are precious ones, once school starts and the college kids start getting homework, they will fade away.

Paul starts a week of vacation, on vacation starting today after work. I wish I was more fun this week, blah.

Who keeps messing up this house? Now that the kids' rooms have been cleaned so thoroughly, I go in every day and pick up a few things so they stay that way, and I try to keep it picked up around the living room and kitchen...but jeepers! It is an exercise in futility! Some of the kids ask why I bother, when it will just get messy again. Well, do YOU want to drown in messy? 'Cause it will happen! I don't like messy.

We don't have many plans for Paul's vacation, except for some one dollar bowling. We had been planning to take off for a few days together, but I don't know if I am up for that. I know he wants do get a few things done around here. As for me, I like having him around, but I feel guiltier sitting around when he's here, I don't want him to think he goes to work and works hard, and I am a lazy bum. ha.

So today is my last day "off" for a while, ha.

One thing that is killing me is not being able to go swimming. I love going in that pool with the kids. I feel like I am getting pale and lethargic, although I still go on my walks. Maybe I will treadmill just a little today.

Mirielle and Aaron had to leave before 6am this morning for an early class. They are very fortunate to be going to college together, they share books, and only pay $40 a month to park in the nice closeby garage, because they "carpool". Mali rode in with Emily this morning, since her class was much later. Mali is only 17, she doubled up and graduated high school a year early, and still has to take lots of pre-reqs before officially starting the nursing program. Joseph is doing his pre-reqs at a different college, but will be starting school with Mali next year, hopefully.

Yesterday when Aaron and Mirielle got home, they made brownies and iced coffees. They must talk all the way home about what they are going to devour when they get in the door. Then I sent them to the grocery store, along with Joseph, who had to go to the small city to drop paper work off at the college. They came home with a few extras, but got the things on my list. I am afraid if I go out in public, I will have the dreaded gush, which I have had with my previous miscarriages but not yet with this one.

Oh well, summer is still here, I am still alive and well, and God is still good. I don't want to waste time feeling sorry for myself, although I do feel very sorry for myself. The clay has no right to direct the Potter, yet I still am tempted to ask God WHY He would put me through this...thankfully, I know He sends all things for my very best.

One thing that has crossed my mind this week after seeing that delicate little heartbeat, is HOW in the WORLD can a woman possibly voluntarily have an abortion? How can one seriously think that is okay, that it is right?

I almost wish I hadn't had that sonogram, hadn't gotten to see the heart beating. It makes the loss all the more painful. Because I am 99% certain it is going downhill, yet...we shall see. I do find comfort in the fact that God knows the beginning and the end of all things, we people just have to wait it out.

Thank you thank you thank you so much for the encouragement and for the prayers! It really helps! Our momentary light afflictions don't always feel so light and momentary, but knowing that our sufferings are mutual, that I am not the only one, is a great comfort.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

just want to cry and hibernate...

As the day wore on yesterday, I got hopeful. I shall spare the details, but I started thinking things were going to be okay...then, this morning, blah, it is heavier.

If I had to title the month of August, it would be, "The Ebb And Flow Of Blood And Hope." And July would be, "The Month Of Bliss And Ignorance Of What Lies Ahead." But there is still a small part of me that hopes against hope to rename this month, "Hallelujah, The Baby Thrives!"

Emily has the day off, and asked what we are doing today. Well, I am lying low, in case this whole thing snowballs and I have the kind of miscarriage that makes being anywhere in public terrifying. I told her she could take the big van and take the kids on an adventure if she wanted. She is such a very special and wonderful daughter. She took Jonathan home with her last night, with his garbage bag full of bedding and his pillowpet. Jon loves his big sisters more than anything. I am thankful that they give him the time of day, and more.

I have continued taking Rosie on her morning walks, trying to walk as briskly as I can, because it is the only exercise I have done since last Friday. I think it is good time to sort of take it easy. I am still losing weight, small amounts, but still, the scale is moving down.

The practical side of me is saying that if this pregnancy is doomed, let's get it over with, so we can get on with life. I don't like limbo, I don't like taking it easy, I want to do fun things with the kids, I want to go in the pool. Yesterday I had to explain to Margaret that I don't really even want to go sit in the sun, it gets so hot when I can't go in the pool, so could she please watch them in there for me?

And I think I will be okay if I am indeed losing this baby. I reason it out, and I will be okay. Then I go and burst into tears. I cry about everything. I read in the paper that the Army purchased millions of dollars worth of body armor for the soldiers in combat, and now they are confessing it wasn't properly tested, and may be defective and not work properly. I cried. Those poor guys. Then the kids in Joplin, Missouri are starting school...their schools were destroyed in that tornado, so some of the kids are going to school in an old mall. But the United Arab Emirates donated laptop computers to all the students. Why did that make me cry? I don't know. The unexpected goodness, maybe?

Anyway, life goes on, thankfully. There are worse things than losing a baby. I guess. I have all these kids, and I am enjoying them. Last evening we had hot dogs cooked on the grill, they are local hot dogs, big and yummy, Hoffman's. They taste like summer. (although it is hard to enjoy with no bun, as I don't eat them anymore). We also had some pasta salad and green beans from the garden. We ate out on the deck, where the little girls were playing, "Aquamarine" with their Barbies. They filled three coolers with water and were having their dolls be mermaids...

Paul and I went to the town meeting, which was our "date". I need to get "better" so we can go away for a few days. blah.

We all have our trials in life, and I am sorry if I complain too much about mine. It helps to write on here though. My daughter Abigail hasn't been feeling well lately, and I worry about her. She is 24, and she was born with Pulmonary Stenosis, which is a blockage in the pulmonary artery. She was followed by pediatric cardiologists for all her childhood, and the blood flow was sufficient, so the dr.s didn't do anything. Well, the last visit showed the blockage had gotten a little bigger. She has been tired and lightheaded, so her new adult cardiologist thinks it might be time to do something, but he is getting a second opinion, sending her last echogram to some other doctors. So she waits and tries not to worry, and is tired. I told her to make sure she takes her daily vitamin with iron, and doesn't eat too many carbs, and gets some exercise, but still, I worry about her. She lives with Emily in a little apartment a few miles down the main road...but she is still my little girl.

Well...the princesses are now fighting over dollhouse stuff. They get along so well 95% of the time, but the other five, watch out! It is like they just get it into their heads to argue, and they bicker and fight over everything. Whine and complain and fuss and butt heads...then it blows over and they are best friends again.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

don't feel much like writing this morning...

As I rested in bed this morning, bright and early, I decided that spotting or not, I would finally just be optimistic about this tiny baby. up, and WHAT!!??, I was really bleeding. Sorry if this is TMI, either I share things or I don't. And I am already in for a penny, so I'm in for a pound.

I walked with Rosie anyway, came back and ate some raisin toast with peanutbutter, read the paper, did some sweeping and cleaning up, a few loads of laundry, gave the princesses their breakfast...and here I am again.

I think I should just reckon with the fact that I am losing this baby. The hardest part is that I saw that beating heart. I am beyond sad, yet I am thankful for the other kids, and for this beautiful day. Maybe later when some bigger kids get up I will go in my room and hibernate for a while and have myself a good cry, but for now, I shall just sit here and watch them set up four dollhouses in the living room, and try to reconcile myself to this loss. And try to remember that God does NOT make mistakes. There is something here to learn, something He wants to teach me. Mercy, maybe?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

, heartbeat

Yes, there is a tiny little heartbeat. I was absolutely thrilled. Then I talked to the midwife, who wasn't as optimistic. She said the heartbeat was slow, 114 beats per minute, and the baby measured small for 8 and a half weeks. I told her my cycles had been longer, so that could explain it. I am also still a bit crampy, spotting just a little bit here and she said it could go either way. blah. I do not want to go either way, I want this baby!!! There is nothing I can do but wait and pray.

All of my kids know now. Jonathan found out from his sisters giving hints. He is totally thrilled. I told him the baby is very small and might not make it. He said, "Well, we just have to have hope." Thank you Jonathan. I shall remember that.

One thing the midwife said was, "We don't have as much control over things as we think we do." hmm.

Well, the college kids are home and need some folders I have squirreled away in my room, and I need to start thinking about the dreaded dinnertime. There is also another town board meeting tonight, our nice neighbor is not giving up easily.

summertime fun

It isn't easy to count one's blessings when one is preoccupied with things like possible miscarriages and the hopefulness of possible newborns. But, as my mother used to say, "stop thinking about yourself and think about someone else for a change." Several times lately I have been tempted to just hibernate in my room, but being around these kids is healing and healthy and fun. Not to mention frustrating and trying. (I mean, everyone knows beachballs aren't to be kicked around in the living room, right?) Last evening, after dinner, Aaron made a killer pot of decaf coffee. Emily bought us a huge bag of coffee from one of the bookstores that was closing, good coffee, for only five bucks. (she is like her mama, I don't know how many times she mentioned how she regretted only buying ONE BAG.)...anyway, after our dinner of baked chicken thighs, corn, and tossed salad with tomatoes from the garden and peppers from the neighbors' garden (they gave them to us, we didn't raid their garden), Aaron made this coffee. We sat and solved the world's problems while having some 54 calorie Philly Swirl ice cream bars, some of them having ice cream sandwiches. The power had gone out for a few hours, so we had candles lit at the table, and it was cozy. The younger ones tend to get up and go play when they finish, and some nights we just sit there at the table forever.

Then later, Sam, Margaret, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, and Jonathan played penny poker while Mirielle and Aaron made a breakfast pizza for their breakfasts this week.

What kind of mother would let their children use one of those plastic drawers from one of those little plastic three-drawer dressers as a Barbie Swimming Pool?

In their room?

They certainly had fun.

I need to get ready for the dr. soon. Take a shower, put on some clean respectable clothes that don't scream, "I am an idiot slob who doesn't know what causes IT." Just kidding. But I do wonder what people think of me sometimes. The nurse who saw me at the last visit kept her composure quite well, but I did see the LOOK on her face when I said it was my 22nd pregnancy.

I mean, I have had people say, when they found out how many kids I had, or that they are indeed all mine, "And they are all so clean!" Yes, there are notions out there about big families.

Oh well...we shall see how this appt. goes.

Monday, August 15, 2011

waiting and wondering..

One minute I feel hopeful, the next I just know this pregnancy is doomed. Tomorrow's sonogram seems so far away. I am spotting just a bit here and there, and when I think of Camille's pregnancy, I get hopeful. Then I remembered one of my pregnancies long ago, one in which I had a very light period while pregnant, had no idea I was pregnant. Then I missed the next one, and made an appointment for four weeks after that, because the dr. like to see me after missing two periods. Well, imagine my surprise on that first visit that I was actually SIXTEEN weeks pregnant! I guess back then with all the little ones, my morning sickness just blended in with all the fatigue and busyness.

The hard part in all this is that my older kids keep looking at me so hopefully and asking how I am doing. I just say I am not sure. Emily says she has been dreaming about twins. They just want this baby so badly. I am working on being content, come what may. God doesn't make mistakes.

The other thing that is challenging right now is that it is still summer, and there are things we have to do! On a practical note, I do not have time for a miscarriage! Paul asked me to do something with him this week, and I said, "maybe...." I just have this feeling I have some suffering ahead of me, in the near future. blah.

I truly have so much to be thankful for though. Abigail bought me a Fisher-Price Dollhouse for my birthday! My birthday was last month, but she brought the gift over yesterday. The little girls were so excited to share it with me. Abigail had gotten it on clearance at Target. I was fleetingly tempted to save it and sell it on ebay, but my little girls would have been too disappointed.

Emily and Abigail were both here for dinner yesterday. We had baked chicken breasts, I put some of them in a hotsauce/butter mixture and put them back in the oven for a bit, they were just like Buffalo wings. Then fries, I only had two, and broccoli. The kids had ice cream sandwiches for dessert, I passed. I had already had one of Mirielle's oatmeal chocolate chip cookies earlier...then later, she made that deadly stove-top popcorn with butter, and yes, I had some. blah. I eat so healthy, but sometimes just can't resist those yummy extras. And to be honest, I feel like I am feeling just a little bit sorry for myself, so I am justified in having a little extra. But I recognize that, and know it doesn't make sense. I don't want to gain any weight back!

Rosie and I went on our walk this morning, then came back and had our breakfasts. I had oatmeal with a big spoon of crunchy peanutbutter in it. Only a half cup of oats, an one tablespoon of peanutbutter. It is so good, and keeps me full for hours.

The little girls love their new room together with bunk beds. They wake up too early in the morning, this morning they were up by seven. They play Barbies and dollies and have a good time in there. Yesterday I helped Suzanne, Sonja, and Jonathan clean their room up. How does so much stuff end up under the bed? And where do all the papers come from? Hair ponies, pennies, doll shoes...legos. Everything in there is now sorted and cleaned up, and I am happy about it. I asked Sonja if she was glad it was so nice and clean, and she said she doesn't really care. She just helped me because she thought it made me happy. Really?

Gramma also got the girls a new dresser. I got rid of the changing table I had had for years, it had baskets of their clothes on it. I also said goodbye to the old white bookcase that my parents had gotten from surplus Army, years and years ago. It was rickety and had to be propped up... it also had baskets of clothes on it. It looks neater with their stuff in the dressers now.

Of course now I have two extra laundry baskets full of stuff to wash...

I did find some new sneakers I got for Jon last year on clearance, nice wide-width leather sneakers from Target. And some suede boots for Charlotte Claire for kindergarten, and three new pair of shoes.

I still need to get some things on the kids' school lists, and a few of them need sneakers. And we accidentally left two really nice lunchboxes at the park the other day. I think I might just go buy Charlotte Claire a nice new one. The older kids would rather brown bag it, but the little ones like the cutsie lunch bags.

It is another rainy-ish day today, cloudy and cozy in here. Charlotte Claire is bugging Camille, they have too much energy and are tired and they are having too much fun antagonizing each other. Now Jon is tattling on Char for doing headstands on the couch...time for this mom to get moving...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

pictures from the park

Happiness is a hot fudge sundae
Um, Miss Suze, that is Mama's coffee!

in the van
playing on the slide
Camille insisted on wearing this "pretty dress", and I had her wear sneakers to protect the toe with the horribly mangled toenail...
Kathryn hurt her toe...Margaret cleaned it up and bandaged it.
Camille and Charlotte Claire
Kathryn Grace
Sonja Kathleen at the park. My mother would love S.K., who has her middle name. My mom had red hair, none of her seven children inherited it, although some of us have reddish highlights. She died when Sonja K. was only four.
Evelyn Joy, Charlotte Claire, Camille Anaya
The Bad Dog

Suzanne straightened the shoes the other day.

Abigail came over yesterday and took Sonja, Char, and Camille in the pool, and gave them lunch on the deck. Then they watched, "Matilda", while I cleaned and straightened their room, getting ready for the bunkbeds. Paul was gone car shopping with Mirielle and Aaron, and of course the car-loving Jonathan. Evelyn and Suze were shopping with their cousin Claire (thank you so much Claire!) Claire took them to the mall, bought them each shirts from Hollister, took them to Panera Bread, then for ice cream! (for Ev's birthday, which is coming up next week.) And Margaret and Kathryn were gone with Emily on an outing to the falls with some other girls from church.

Paul came home and put those beds together. It hours and hours, and the girls were so excited. At 11:00, they were done, so they slept in them. Jonathan slept in there on the floor with them, to catch some of the excitement. Also, his roomates were gone, Sonja went home with Emily and Suzanne was sleeping in Kathryn's room.

Jonathan has been playing with the Easy-Bake oven, he wants me to make him some more batter...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

saturday morning

The house is quiet except for the two little princesses who are having animal crackers with their bagels. That means they are not just eating, they are playing. Paul went to visit his parents and is supposed to buy the bunkbeds for the princesses. The other kids are all still sleeping.

The dr. office called me back yesterday and has fit me in on Tuesday. I am almost dreading it. I would rather have hope than find out it is doomed. Yet on the other hand, I would LOVE to see that little heartbeat. I think I would just float out of that office if I saw that. This whole pregnancy has been so crazy for me. I never really thought I would conceive again, although I had hoped. Being so old, I know that if this one doesn't stick, it is most likely it. I cannot complain, these guys are more than enough. But this pregnancy is like all the money in the world dangled before me...

I did have a small bit of pink spotting yesterday, which made me want to just go crawl in bed and hibernate, sick and tired of battling anxiety. So I did. It didn't last too long, three of my girls came barging in telling me they had to talk to me about something important, trouble with one of their friends, one of them was crying hysterically. I must say, it stopped me from just thinking of myself pretty quickly.

So I got up. Helped the girls, made dinner, no more spotting.

Life is a series of trials. I will not go around the bend if I lose this baby, but I will hibernate. I won't feel cheated when I see other newborns, but I will certainly get teary-eyed. I won't be jealous of other pregnant moms, but I will be tempted.

But I shall jump of that bridge when I come to it.

In other news, I saw a new number on the scale this morning! I was pretty glad, because there is nothing like the excuse, "eating for two", to break down my determination a little. I haven't been as careful as I had been, so I have been trying to get serious again. I take in plenty of healthy food, I just need to stop with the brownie tastes and ice cream pie tastes. If I stay away from the breads and stick with the meats/proteins and plenty of veggies and fruits, I will be okay. And I have been keeping up on the exercising.

Friday, August 12, 2011

new tires and company for dinner...

Yesterday when I finally got my rear in gear and started doing some cleaning here, Paul called and asked me to take the minivan into Walmart for two new tires. Around the same time, Emily texted me and asked me if she could bring a friend from Ottowa for dinner, a nice girl from a nice family, in our church. So...I did a few things while Joseph changed the leaky tire to the spare, then gave out instructions, and left with Joe and Jonathan.

Joseph drove. I hate when the kids drive. Doesn't matter if they are good drivers or not, I cannot keep my mouth shut, nor can I keep my foot off the phantom brake.

Walmart took forever changing those tires. I gave Joseph and Jon some money and sent them to get an Icee, so I could just walk around and browse. And buy socks and some Christmas gifts on clearance, and the makings for ice cream pie, and bananas and cherries and romaine.

Evelyn and Suze and Sonja and Olivia made four ice cream pies. They used sandwich cookies and real butter for the crusts. On top of mint chocolate chip ice cream, hot fudge, on top of "Death By Chocolate" ice cream, caramel sauce...then crushed fudge stripe cookies on both...I only had about a tablespoon, but then Camille left some on her plate...then Char did...rrr. I need to just leave the room next time. It was SO good, even after we had grilled steak and corn on the cob (blah, I had TWO.), and salad with tomatoes from the garden.

The three nursing school students are having a good time. People are asking them if they are triplets. One of the instructors remembers Emily, too, so they were asked how many they have in their family. When they told, it spread around rather quickly...they are kind of proud of it, but also don't like to be defined by it. Oh well. There are 108 students in their class, only five or so are boys, so Aaron is really a minority. Joseph is signing up to go in January, so there will be four of them going together.

I have library books due at a library a bit far from here, so I am thinking of taking these guys on an adventure...a nice playground, packing our lunch. Summer isn't going by any slower.

Why am I such a procrastinator? I have some phone calls to make, things to straighten out, yet I put them off, and when I finally accomplish them I feel like I have accomplished something! The other day I realized it was after 5:00, and I could no longer make any phone calls that day, and felt relieved. Why do I hate taking care of things? I do not know.

So perhaps today I will get those things done. And get those books back to the library. Have some fun. Forget all about worrying about what is actually going on with this baby...(is it growing and thriving, or has it failed to form? Is there a strong heartbeat and a healthy little body, or is there just the sac, and sadness awaiting me? I can't help but wonder....the suspense is killing me. yet, here I am, alive and well...)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

faith and the days gone by

8 years ago, when we had just lost baby Robert, our 14th child. Sonja was just learning to walk, and we were camping. Margaret, 6, holding Sonja, 1, then Kathryn, 5, Suzanne 2 and 1/2, and Evelyn, almost 4.
7 years ago
15 years ago this month. Emily was 11, Abigail 9, Benjamin 7, Mirielle 6, Joseph 5, Aaron 3 (cute?), Mali 2, and Sam, one year old, being held by Emily. This was just a few months before Margaret was born.
14 years ago this month. Emily 12, Abigail 10, Benjamin 8, (in the back, then in the middle: Mirielle 7, Joseph 6, Aaron 4, then in front Mali 3, Samuel 2 (wasn't he so cute?), and baby Margaret in front, 8 months old. It was around this time I found out I was pregnant for Kathryn, our tenth child. This baby I am expecting now is due on her birthday in March)
Camille with Evelyn

Suzanne, Sonja, Charlotte Claire, Evelyn, Camille, and my niece Olivia...Suze was the maid, she made brownies in that apron with high heels on. The brownies were so good, I went off the wagon and ate lots. oops.
Samuel James made himself a frappuchino in his favorite mug that Ben gave him. He took this picture, I didn't.
The truck that came to get Ben and Ashley's things was huge. Since I am a nice mom, I let Jon use my camera. He took at least fifteen pictures of it. After a while I realized he was out there in the rain, which was okay, but he only had his undies and shirt on. oops.
Charlotte Claire and Jonathan

Kathryn Grace

Faith. What does it mean? Cinnamon really opened my eyes when she commented and said she would pray for my "worried heart". Yes, we are human, and we are tempted to worry and be scared. But when does, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding?" come in? Is it just a pleasant phrase? When I think back on my years of accepting the children, it wasn't always easy. Relatives sometimes questioned our sanity. I had thoughts come into my own mind more than once like, "What the HECK are we DOING!?" There have been times it has been so absolutely impossibly crazy and hectic, I had to hold on to "JUST THIS MOMENT, I have grace enough for just this..", and really drown out worries about tomorrow. (Today has trials enough, right?) I KNOW that God causes all things to work together for my good, I KNOW that. But our faith has to be tested through trials. Because knowing isn't enough. God is good, He doesn't just throw things at us that are too much. Everything is weighed and measured, He is just and good. I have really been awakened to how much I have given in to anxiety, how I have listened to thoughts of dread and gloom. Does it help in the least? I can justify it be saying I am just protecting myself from getting too disapointed if something goes wrong with the pregnancy, but in reality it is just listening to thoughts of unbelief. God is God, and I need to let Him do His job. My wanting this baby so badly has gotten in the way of being at rest about things.

Now that I have SAID all that, I need to DO it. I called my old dr. yesterday, he doesn't deliver anymore, and asked if I could just come in to see how this pregnancy is going, because the new dr. can't see me for two weeks. He said no. Ha, I think he's rather relieved to be rid of me and my high-risked-ness. I called the new dr. office, and requested they fit me in sometime before two weeks, after all, I am 46 years old, ect. She said they would call me back. That was at 11:30 am. I waited until 2:30, then I walked out the door to go shopping with seven of my daughters, which was so much fun I can't stand it, but that is another story. I left Joseph with the responsibility of telling them my cell number if they called, but didn't hear anything.

So here I am. Still alive, and as far as I know, still pregnant. I haven't had morning sickness, and that concerns me. But I have had that distinct coppery taste in my mouth, and have had moments of queasiness.

I did eat tons of brownies last night. I usually just pass them up, don't even taste them, revel in the aroma...but last night Suze baked them in the muffin cups, they were just the right consistency, and once I had a taste, I finished up Camille's, then I kept wandering in and picking...blah. I was so good all day, then I went and did that.

Our shopping trip: we went into Kohl's because I had a ten dollar off coupon. We went in the Out door because a little girl was holding the door for us. Well, when Marg opened the second door, it opened toward us, and hit Camille's poor little toe, ripping the toenail almost off. Ugh. She was brokenhearted. One of the employees gave us some Bandaids and disinfectant spray, and we let her ride in a stroller-cart, and I bought her a Clifford dog stuffed animal for $5, because she was so good and I felt sorry for her. My other girls are such good shoppers. They don't dare even ask for something if it is over a few bucks, not because I told them so, but because they just KNOW. I got a shirt for Joe, one for Sam, sandals for Charlotte Claire, two shirts for Margaret, one for Kathryn, two for Evelyn, two for Sonja, and the Clifford for $38.

Then to Target...not much in there, but we had fun. We met a mom I know, her son used to hang around with Joseph, she has a little girl who is going to be in Charlotte Claire's class. The way the two of them stood there looking at each other was adorable. It made me feel marginally better about sending her to school.

Price-Chopper...the kids all got bread samples, which I am sure wiped out the supply. They do not care where they are, they just have fun. Margaret brought a fake diamond ring that the lunch lady gave to Suzanne last year when Suze told her that Evelyn tried on one of her rings and I had to break it off with the pipe wrench (sounds more painful than it was, it broke the ring, not her finger)...anyway, Margaret had Kap get on her knees and put the ring on her finger right in the front of the store. I love that they don't think about what people think...

I did brag shamelessly once. The man doing the free grocery give-away sign-up asked if the seven were all mine. I just said Yes. He then said he had four, and he thought THAT was BAD. Well, I said, I actually have ELEVEN daughters, and it isn't BAD at all. Wow, he said, "blended family?" Nope, all ours. Wow, he said. So don't blame me, I HAD to say, "We also have five sons..." Believe me, it was FUN.

Do I get a little credit for not mentioning that we are expecting again?

I haven't told my mother-in-law yet. I am hoping to wait until I get some more concrete evidence, like seeing the heartbeat. We'll see.

And now it is time to go and get some things done on this lazy summer morning.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

summer time is the life for me!

Yesterday was rainy and stormy, and the kids got a bit wild. Everyone who could be home was home (Mirielle, Joseph, Aaron, Mali, Samuel, Margaret, Kathryn, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja K., Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and Camille. And me.) It was like a winter day, all the energy and the confinement, but it was also cozy. I, being the nut that I am, cleaned up a nice stroller (Inglesina Zippy)(I have the bassinett for it, brand new and sweet) that I hadn't had the heart to get rid of, one that had gotten dusty and musty downstairs. Washed the cover, shined up the wheels, it is like new again. I am sure Paul loved walking into our room and finding it sitting there. I couldn't fold it up because the cover was drying. The older kids were saying, "Mom's crazy." I think a few of them think I am unwise to get so excited when things could go wrong. But...

Anyway, the rain cleared up in the afternoon, so I took Rosie for a walk with Jon, Char, and Camille. Camille always gets tired when we are all the way down the road, there is no way I can carry a 30+ pound almost-4-year old. So she does the walk-really-slowly thing...

Last evening, the older kids were watching, "The Office", so I took the younger ones in their room and helped them dress a whole pile of naked Barbies. It is beyond me why they take the clothes off them all anyway. The two little girls are doing quite well sharing a room. (ha, Paul and I finally got our room to ourselves....) After coming home from camping, I figured they were used to sleeping together in the tent.

I am thinking of calling my old dr. to see if he can see me, just to see how this pregnancy is going. If we see a heartbeat, I can go on rejoicing, if not, I can start dealing with it.

We also need to go shopping. The milk is less than half a gallon, there is no salad stuff, we are running out of cereal.

Summer vacation is over for my three nursing school students. They left together this morning to start orientation. The car they drive is on it's last leg, so we are buying them something that they shall pay us back for when they graduate. They are driving all the way into the Big city every day, so they need something safe and reliable. Joseph will be driving to college in the small city, so he needs to drive the better junker.

I talked to my son Benjamin last evening for a few minutes. He says it is miserable in that California dessert. 106 degrees during the day. He says they still do lots of work, and lots of training. He has a group of guys he is responsible for, they ask him for things like Tylenol and Band-aids, and they call him, "Doc". He seems to really like that part.

Just got the call from Gramma, she is coming over. This morning went from Sitting Around and Relaxing, Knowing I Have Things To Do to: Actually Getting Up And Doing Lots Of Work Fast.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

cuddly day at home

Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, Camille Anaya, and Sonja is rainy and dark and so cozy in here. They are watching, "Maisie".

The movers are supposed to be here any time now. I added a few things to Ben and Ashley's pile of boxes: a few new pizza pans, a big package of washcloths, and a portable gas grill. The kids wrote some notes and put them in a box, along with a baggy of candy.

Paul has another week off next week, he wants to build bunkbeds for Charlotte Claire and Camille. I, on the other hand, want to BUY bunkbeds for Charlotte Claire and Camille. I don't mean to be mean, but some people are carpenters and some people aren't. Plus, free time, vacation time, is so precious, why waste it making something you can just as easily buy?

Most of the kids know about the pregnancy now. Jonathan and the little princesses don't know yet, but that doesn't deter them, especially Jon, from talking as if it is inevitable we will have another baby one of these days. It is just the natural order of things to them. An unending stream of babies. As I tucked Char and Camille in last night, and helped Camille wrap her newborn dolly in an old recieving blanket, I got a flash of how much she would be fascinated by a real one. Even Jonathan has a baby, he says he is also pregnant. They handle their babies so tenderly, always supporting the heads. I was thinking I might have to take some of their dolly stuff back. All the little tiny onesies and sweaters...

We haven't even made our Summer Fun List yet. There are still things we want to do! Summer needs to slow down! I want to take the kids up to the lake for ice cream, and to the museum, and to a different beach far from here. They want to go to the museum of play again, and the State Fair is coming up.

Blah, the movers aren't here yet, I could have taken the morning ob appointment and gotten back by now. Oh well. I think they are here now..

Monday, August 8, 2011

okay, it is confirmed, I am pregnant.

I sort of already knew this. I went in for my nurse visit, got my pregnancy confirmed with a urine test, had my blood pressure taken (112 over 70, YAY!!!), then tried to convince the nurse that I cannot wait three weeks for an o.b. appointment to see how things are going. She said she does have an opening, for tomorrow morning, the one time I absolutely have to be home because of Ben and Ashley's moving truck coming. Blah. So wait I shall. It was rather funny though, this visit - I have never met this nurse, at this new office. She asked if it was my first pregnancy, and I said, "No." So, she asked what number it was. "Um, uh, number twenty-two", I said. I had to hand it to her, she did pretty well, but I saw the look on her face. I know what she's telling HER husband tonight. (get away from me. ha.)

Anyway, I don't know more than I knew yesterday, but I am okay with that. Part of me doesn't want to have lots of tests done and find out bad things, better to live in this hopefulness.

Dinner tonight: roasted garlic marinated chicken thighs, yellow squash with butter and lemon pepper, from our garden, salad with black olives and cukes/tomatoes from the garden. Then Pepperidge Farms cakes for Sam's 16th birthday for dessert. We cut each cake into sixteen pieces so everyone could taste each one. My favorite is the vanilla with coconut frosting. yummmmmy. I just have to be careful! I don't want to use pregnancy as an excuse to just eat.

I got some more school supplies today at the dreaded Walmart. And, I bought the first baby things....a pink striped onesie and a beige striped one, and a pair of blue pants that looks cute with either of them. $1.50 each. Couldn't help it.

Pregnant until proven otherwise, right?

Thank you sincerely for all the words of hope and encouragement, and for the prayers on my behalf. I know that God has been really good to me, I have no idea why He has blessed me so. I am thankful.

high risk pregnancy?

Yesterday I was reading a book called, "High Risk Pregnancy". It was discarded from the college of nursing library, and Emily brought it to me. Paul saw me reading it and asked, "Are you high risk?" Well, duh!

I have had lots of babies, so I am a "grandmultipara", which is for some reason not as revered in the medical world as it is in mine. I am old. I don't know how my blood pressure is, but it was on the high side a few months back. I am still overweight, despite those 36 pounds I so painfully got rid of. I had to have pitocin to actually get the last few babies out, so my uterus is probably not at it's peak anymore.

I found out on Saturday that the movers were coming today, finally, to pick up all of Ben and Ashley's stuff. I absolutely have to be here when they come, and show a picture I.D.. So I thought I might miss the nurse's visit I had set up for this afternoon. Then, I woke up in the middle of the night and could NOT fall back to sleep for anything. I thought about baby names, I thought about organizing the kids rooms, I thought about back-to-school shopping. Then when Paul was getting up for work, I was just starting to doze and blah, remembered the movers were coming...I had to get up. I got up and got dressed, and: the moving company called and said the the truck lost lights in Massachusetts and had to wait 'til daylight to find a repair tomorrow is the day.

So here I was, up and dressed and I took Rosie on her walk, then came home and made my oatmeal and coffee, and here I am. I want a nap. Being tired is something that I haven't had to deal with in the last few years like I did for all those previous years with babies getting up in the night. Here it comes again. But yay, I can't help getting so excited. Even though I have read more than I should have online, and it looks dismal. Pregnancies after 45 have a 75-80% chance of miscarriage...

The girls have strong opinions about baby names. Mirielle says they get to name this one, Mali says no way, it is Mom and Dad's baby, they get the final say. hmm. Seems like I have been saying, "duh" on here alot lately, but DUH. I mean, "Avalon" is a lovely name if you like naming your child after a publishing company. Don't waste your time telling me it's important meaning. And if you like "Julian" so much, I'll be kind and save it for you to use someday. The only one I suggested was "Neil" for a boy, then I realized I would have Camille and Neil, nah. It is fun though, never thought we would be able to do this again.

So much for cleaning the house before they came home. blah. Mirielle and Aaron did so kindly go to the laundrymat and wash all the bedding. Lots of it goes in the camper, so it is sitting here in bags. And the little girls missed their dollhouse stuff, they had to get it out to see it. Oh well. Such is my life.